Once again, Amazon is leveraging legal recourse to circumvent the Department of Defense’s decision to award Microsoft the lucrative Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract. Starting today, February 13, 2020, Amazon is using an injunction granted by a judge to halt any work between Microsoft and the DoD on the JEDI agreement.
Amazon has been in court since late 2019, after the DoD decided to award Microsoft the $10 billion JEDI deal claiming that, due in part to President Trump’s late-stage interference with the bidding process, AWS lost out becoming the preferred partner of the Pentagon. As recent as last week, an Amazon spokesperson discussed at length the company’s plans to even attempt receiving a deposition from President Trump regarding his alleged involvement with the final adjudication.
Not for nothing, this injunction could slow Microsoft’s plans to provide hardware and cloud-based software support to the Department of Defense, but could also end up costing Amazon upwards of $42 million if the courts find the current hold to be inaccurate and wrongfully issued in favor of AWS. The judge issued the following concessions before granting a temporary band that includes earmarking the $42 billion-dollar “just in case,” it needs to be given to Microsoft or Department of Defense for “costs and damages.”
Microsoft has traditionally remained silent regarding the DoD’s decision to grant the company the JEDI contract, but when asked today regarding the injunction the company issued the following statement:
While we are disappointed with the additional delay we believe that we will ultimately be able to move forward with the work to make sure those who serve our country can access the new technology they urgently require. We have confidence in the Department of Defense, and we believe the facts will show they ran a detailed, thorough and fair process in determining the needs of the warfighter were best met by Microsoft.
In the meantime, Microsoft’s chief legal officer Brad Smith has also chimed in with a few behind-the-curtain details of how the company is staffing up and prepared to handle the scale of the JEDI contract with the Department of Defense. According to a report from CNBC News, Smith has gone on record to explain that the company is “moving faster,” as it attempts to siphon talent from defense contracting position as well as canvassing the internet with job postings for specialists.
As of now, neither Amazon or the Department of Defense have spoken to news of the injunction, and we’ll update accordingly as new information becomes available.